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May 31, 2012 08:40 AM

Fresh seafood restaurants in Essex, MA

I'm taking my mom out for her birthday dinner. In the past we've gone to The Village restaurant but I'd like to go somewhere brighter and "younger." I agree with many hounds that The Village has more seniors than most restaurants! I was thinking of taking her to Periwinkle's. I had a great meal there 4 years ago but I've not been back since. Any thoughts or recommendations?

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  1. Shea's riverside has a nicer view and recently renovated, many of the Essex restaurants are rather dated. There is also Ithaki in Ipswich which has very fresh food and a much nicer atmosphere.

    1. Blue Marlin might be nice for her, Franklin Cafe, Achlemy in Gloucester as well. Zabligone's in Ipswich is also very good.

      1. Blue Marlin is basically pub food, nothing special not in the least. Shea's has a nice water view and there is probably something on the menu for everyone. Be advised that just because its in Essex the seafood does not come in from the Essex River but from the usual food distribution channels used by most restaurants.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsofatso

          Thank you collie, treb and ipso. I was wondering if I should try the Blue Marlin so thanks for insight on food type. I'd been by Shea's a few times but never went inside. I'll report back my choice and how Mom liked her dish! I think I'll try Achlemy on my own - definately not Mom's type of place ;-) Thanks again!

        2. Periwinkles is more upscale than the Village, and has a better view. As long as you stick to the seafood and fish dishes, I think both of you will enjoy it.

          1. Hi everyone and thanks again for the suggestions. I made reservations for a 12:30 Sunday lunch at Shea's Riverside. Although there were only 3 of us, I wanted to make sure we weren't put in the middle of the 2 gratuation parties taking place that afternoon. Without asking, the hostess gave us the small upstairs dining room to ourselves and the view was wonderful. Service was attentive, considering the wait staff had to come up a flight of stairs every time! We shared fried clams and shrimp cocktail for starters. The fried clams had a very light batter and nice sized bellies. The jumbo shrimp had a good flavor. Mom and I each had the Haddock Provencal and my brother had the lobster salad sandwich. All portions were just right - not to little not too much. The haddock was fresh and flakey and served with steamed veggies and roasted red bliss potatoes. The fries that came with the lobster sandwich was of course plentiful and more importantly, tasted great. The lobster chunks were big enough to cut with a knife.
            My mom is very picky about restaurants where she'll eat and after several days she is still raving about the view and the haddock. I'd certainly go back for the haddock and the clams!

            1 Reply
            1. re: B squared

              Fresh Atlantic haddock done right is really one of our region's most under-rated delicacies. Glad to hear Shea's got it right.